Inclusion of cost effectiveness in licensing requirements of new drugs: the fourth hurdle

R.S. Taylor, M.F. Drummond, G. Salkeld, S.D. Sullivan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


[INTRODUCTION] Licensing is the main method of regulating and controlling access to pharmaceuticals. New drugs cannot receive a product licence until manufacturers provide evidence of their quality, safety, and efficacy. In a world of rapidly escalating global healthcare costs, evidence of a drug's quality, safety, and efficacy is no longer sufficient to ensure reimbursement for use in public markets. Increasingly, new drugs must show evidence of cost effectiveness. In other words, does the drug produce a useful health gain (over and above currently available treatments) for its additional cost? In industry circles this value for money requirement has become known as the fourth hurdle. In this article, we examine the international development of fourth hurdle policies, analyse their effect, and identify some of the future challenges and likely directions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)972-975
Number of pages3
JournalBritish Medical Journal
Issue number7472
Publication statusPublished - 23 Oct 2004


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